Controversial former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended by the Labour Party and has had the whip removed after he refused to accept the conclusions of a damning report that was released Thursday, accusing him of gross failures to confront anti-Semitism within his party.
The 130-page report was compiled by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a statutory non-departmental government agency that operates independently to “safeguarding and enforcing the laws that protect people’s rights to fairness, dignity and respect.”
The report detailed a litany of alleged failings by Corbyn and the party, and specifically stated that on at least two occasions, party officers committed acts of “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” against Jewish people and their allies. The report also stated that on numerous occasions, ordinary party members who did not have official roles committed such acts.
The report further claimed that, when complaints were made about this harassment, the party demonstrated “significant failings” and a “lack of leadership” in how it responded to the complaints when they were filed. Specifically, the report faulted the party for allowing some investigations to be influenced by political pressure, and additionally found that, “Some complaints were unjustifiably not investigated at all.”
The report went on to claim that there existed “a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”
Current Labour leader Keir Starmer accepted the conclusions of the report, calling this a “day of shame” for Labour and saying, “If you’re anti-Semitic, you should be nowhere near this party. And we’ll make sure you’re not.”
Corbyn, meanwhile, reacted to the report with defiance, claiming that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party.”
His defiance appears to have cost him his leadership position within the party. According to statement released by a Labour spokesperson, “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Corbyn stepped down as Labour leader in December after Labour suffered a crushing electoral loss that saw them lose 60 seats and caused Starmer to admit that Labour had utterly failed to address the concerns of ordinary Brits. However, he promised that under his leadership, Labour would become a “competent, credible opposition.”